Pinterest Promoted Pins — Should You Pay for Engagement?

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Promoted pins have a new option: Engagement pins. Should you try them or should you keep paying for clicks?

Pinterest Promoted Pins (1)
Like many small business owners who have tried them, I’ve been thrilled with Pinterest promoted pins. Some even say they are “Stinking awesome!” Not only is the cost per click much less than any other paid social platform, but promoted pins continue to perform long after your campaign ends. This is because repins, clicks and likes keep rolling in based on activity from the original campaign.

Here’s an example of how it works. I promote an image which is then displayed 52,000 times. It is repinned 228 times, liked 27 times, and clicked on 228 times. I pay only for the clicks (around $.17 right now). From the repins, my image with the accompanying link to my content spreads. I don’t pay anything for clicks to those repins. It snowballs. I’m happy.

Promoted Pins Dashboard

Enter engagement pins, the initial announcement of which puzzled me. It is touted as a way to increase engagement and appeal to people gathering information. With the outstanding engagement click pins generate for “free” as a byproduct of promoting for clicks, why would I want to pay for that? According to Pinterest,

Starting today, you can create an engagement campaign with Promoted Pins to reach people while they’re figuring out what to do next. You pay for each engagement (a closeup, repin or click) on your Pin.” (

There had to be more to it. I must be missing something. I thought perhaps the days of cheap promoted pins for clicks was over and click pins would soon be too pricey for many of us. Had the formula changed? Would engagement pins just be a few pennies? Could they increase followers somehow? Really, there had to be something I was missing, right?

Only one way to find out. Set up a test campaign.  The results? The engagement pin cost per engagement was indeed less than cost per click. $.07 instead of $.15. However, the vast majority of engagement actions were “close ups,” meaning someone clicked on the pin but not through to the site. There were a few residual click-throughs, but nothing to write home about.

Pin Closeup Follow ButtonWithout any kind of further action, close-ups are virtually worthless to me. There was no spike in follower count, as could have happened because of the easy one-click “follow” button on close up.

Now, if you are NOT a small business with a major focus on traffic and leads, but instead are a large company looking to remain top of mind; with a cost per engagement that’s about half the cost of clicks, paying for engagement would probably make sense to you. As with all marketing strategies, you need to start with your OWN goals.

Have you tried any kind of promoted pin? How have they worked for you? Would you pay for close-ups, repins, and likes or are you more focused on clicks?

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